Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can you feel the winds of change?

We, taxpayers, paid for a bail out of the trouble caused by the financial entity charged with making home loans (the Savings and Loan businesses) without solving the underlying problems: too much easy credit, not enough regulatory effort. That was 1987 and the Reagan administration did not want to expose the underlying problems, because it would expose the sordid underbelly of 'trickle down.'

So, here we are, again, bailing out the culprits with a concerted effort to avoid the root causes of the problem.

The difference this time is that people's wallets have been affected too often by the detrimental nonsense that is 'trickle down;' leave the richest folks with the least responsibility for, and no oversight for their activity in, the environment that allowed them to earn such wealth in the first place.

There's an election, early voting starts in the next few days, this year and the winds of change are in the air!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Government's role in the economy...

During economic down cycles the government needs to check where regulation, or lack thereof, might have contributed to the problem and change what is found wanting. The appropriate executive agencies need to investigate to see if criminal activity contributed to the down turn, and prosecute as needed. The government also needs to invest where the market will not, so that services will be available to assist in the economic turn around that has, so far, always followed a down turn.

Texas has very few (grandfathered) municipal telecommunications networks, because they are illegal. This must change because telecommuting, distance learning and official/legal/emergency communication will play a large part in the future of Texas. The rural nature of the vast majority of the state of Texas means that there will never be sufficient customer base to provide a profitable return on investment (ROI) for private telecommunications companies; the government must provide this service.

Sunshine and wind are something that are well known to almost every Texan, but the best places for mass harvesting of said attributes are in rural areas. There is no private company that will take on the investment needed to provide the large, intelligent, power distribution network that could bring this power from where it is generated to where it is needed; a constant, huge drain on profit.

There is no private company that will invest in the roads needed to interconnect Texas, because profitable toll rates are more than most are willing to pay; the Camino Columbia Toll Road is an example.

There is no private company willing to invest in rail connections across Texas or within the metropolitan areas, because (once again) common carriage is incapable, at an affordable cost to the user, of generating sufficient profitability.

You've noticed a pattern by now: that common carriage infrastructure (especially in a huge, largely rural, state; like Texas) is not something in which a privately or publicly held company, most interested in generating a profit, will invest. The municipal, county, state and federal governments must do this investing or it will not get done properly, if at all.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Simple Solution Update...

A new Wall Street bailout bill is headed our way, loaded with even more federal debt inducing ‘goodies.’ The newer version of the bailout bill still fails to address the underlying problems; reminders of the symptom changing, problem avoidance of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) some twenty years ago.

The RTC cleaned up bad debt accrued by the Savings and Loan Industry (home loan providers), at a cost of $375 - $500 billion (in taxpayer’s money), while it was forbidden from investigating (or turning over to investigating agencies) any evidence of criminal activity.

Similarly, this bill fails to recognize that the ‘mortgage backed’ derivatives (somehow buying into mortgages without buying mortgages) were a steaming pile of fecal matter from their inception, and actually asking taxpayers to buy huge quantities of them instead. I think not.

It does not give the bankruptcy court system the authority (it should always have had) to restructure debt secured by one’s home or property.

This bill does not include an updated version of the Glass-Steagull Act, which includes the regulating of Hedge Funds and Private Equity.

The new bill is a larger, debt inducing, dysfunctional thing that requires rejection; just like the first bad bailout bill.